Books Are Magic, the famous Cobble Hill bookstore, will open a branch in Montague St.

The exterior of Books Are Magic on Smith Street in Cobble Hill. Photo courtesy of Books Are Magic

Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights is transforming into a literary destination: First, Brooklyn Poets, a new poetry salon and workshop space, opened last Saturday at 144 Montague. And now, well-known Cobble Hill bookstore Books Are Magic has announced plans to open a second store in October at 122 Montague St.

“Great news!” read the bookstore announcement on Twitter. “We were dying to talk about our second location, and we couldn’t hold back any longer: Books Are Magic is coming this fall to Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights!”

The location was formerly occupied by Housing Works and Fishs Eddy.

The store’s Cobble Hill location, on the corner of Butler Street, opened in 2017. In an article published in the Eagle at the time, co-owner Emma Straub, whose published novels include “Modern Lovers,” “The Vacationers,” “Laura Lamont’s Life in Pictures” and “All Adults Here,” was discouraged by the then-recent closures of independent BookCourt bookstores. and the community library.

Emma Straub reading at “Books Beneath the Bridge”, sponsored by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, in Brooklyn Bridge Park in 2014.
Photo by Julienne Schaer

She told locals she would open her own independent bookstore and make the neighborhood “positively covered in bookish pixie dust for decades to come.” Shortly thereafter, she and her husband Michael Fusco-Straub opened Cobble Hill Books Are Magic at 225 Smith St.

Regarding the future Montague Street store, the couple said Brooklyn Magazine that they were drawn to the neighborhood because of “the beautiful buildings, the empty windows, and now, the croissants [apparently a reference to L’Appartement 4F, a French bakery that opened recently].”

“We can’t wait to open our doors this fall and take you back to the days of Cousin Arthur’s and Our Mutual Friend. [two beloved Brooklyn Heights bookstores of yesteryear], and bring an independent bookstore back to Montague Street,” they said in the same statement. The two former bookstores they mentioned were owned by Robert Joseph Tramonte, who died in the late 1990s, and his wife, Barbara Tramonte.

Books Are Magic’s Cobble Hill location is known for its events and readings as well as its books. Its website lists 12 readings and author appearances in August alone.

About Marcia G. Hussain

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